by Paul Osas
CBN’s cashless policy has not reached Akwa Ibom state yet, but it’s now obvious that the bank needs to consider moving in quickly. It would help the state governor, Governor Godswill Akpabio a whole lot.
The governor, who isn’t exactly known for frugality, has reportedly fired three stewards working at the Akwa Ibom state governor’s lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, over missing bundles of mint-fresh dollars valued at over $250,000 (N40 million) kept in the governor’s bedroom.
If that report which was first reported by Sahara Reporters is true, then tragedy does not even begin to describe it. The purported missing sum, kept in the drawers in the governor’s bedroom, were leftovers from a trough of hard currency stashed away in a private security safe in the apartment.
N40 million Naira as “leftovers”? – the story of Nigeria.
Because pilfering of huge cash in the lodge has become a recurring event according tothe report, the governor redeployed all the civil servants at the lodge and replaced them with political appointees and other private consultants he thought could be trusted.
“In one instance, it was learnt that after bundles of cash disappeared under similar circumstances, the burglary proof and window protectors around the governor’s apartment were changed sometime last year after the perpetrators broke through the ceiling to gain access to the room where cash was stacked in ‘Ghana must go’ bags.”
The governor who is one of the PDP’s biggest stars and a well known face in the polity as the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, is known for his cash flaunting escapades.
In March this year, the governor openly donated N1million “lunch money” to each party chairman from the six states in the South-South geopolitical zone who had converged on Port Harcourt for a party reconciliation session. He reportedly lost N1.5million at Ibom International Airport in March, 2012, from the bundles of cash reportedly carried by the Akwa Ibom State government team on their way back from Lagos where Governor Akpabio was awarded the ‘Sun Newspapers Man of the Year’. He donated a car and sponsored scores to the wedding of Tu-Face Idibia and Annie Macaulay in Dubai, among other money spending ventures.
The recent incident, according to reports happened while Akpabio, who is the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum, attended a dinner with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Aso Rock Villa. The governor, who reportedly ordered the sack of the aides (described as political appointees) personally detected that bundles of the foreign currency he left in his bedroom had been stolen.
Governor Akpabio is allegedly scrambling to keep this latest incident of theft in his bedroom under wraps.